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Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Winds of Change - Part 1

Dweezil sat alone on New Year's Eve staring into the file. Squig was out with Trixie and his mother and Annabelle were in the kitchen getting the pans and wooden spoons ready to bang at midnight.  But it was his habit to sit quietly for a few hours, reflecting on the old year and making plans for the one to come.  Next year he would be eight and that meant middle aged and what did he have to show for it, nothing.  He could just envision the years as they rolled on past.

First, he would be the best man at Squig's wedding and then before he knew it, he would be walking Annabelle down the aisle at her wedding.  And just where would that leave him?  A joke, a middle aged cat who lived with his mother, no relationship, no business, no nothing.  He fought the urge to cry or sink into despair.  This town had absolutely nothing for him. He was stuck. He slumped down into the chair and allowed himself a few minutes to wallow.

But wait. If this town held nothing for him.  Maybe there was a town or a city that did.  That's it.  That's all he had to do, move.  He would go to a new place and start over.  But this time he'd do it right.  He'd find a business, buy it and move to it's location.  A chic little cafe, just waiting for a new owner to breathe life back into it.  All he had to do was find it and then wait for a whole new life to begin.  Leaning back, and closing his eyes, he spent a few minutes envisioning the sleeker, more sophisticated version of himself ushering the high class clientele, his cafe would naturally draw, in to savor the delicacies he would have in store for them. It was all going to be wonderful.  Next year on New Year's Eve he wouldn't be sitting alone like some maudlin middle aged joke, he would be hosting a wonderful party at his new cafe.

There was only one little problem with his fresh new start.  Actually, there were four, his mother, Annabelle, Squigman and Trixie.  He couldn't leave without them.  So he was just going to have to spend the next several days thinking up a fool proof plan to get them excited about moving.  Yes, he felt much better already. And with a happy heart he went into the kitchen to joyously welcome the new year.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tis the Season - Merry Christmas

He had appeared like a wisp of smoke down the chimney and slowly materialized into the large white cat, with a Christmas wreath slipped  over one ear and a large sack slung over his shoulder, standing in front of them.

Dropping his sack , he stood silently studying the small stocking hung on the mantle. First he pulled a pair of spectacles from thin air and then reaching into his sack brought up an electronic tablet.  Turning it on and typing something, he waited a few seconds and then said, "Ah yes, Miss Annabelle Snowballinsky-Igmieukowski lives her and she would like a teddy mouse with pink sparkly dress."

Snapping his claws, a small stuffed mouse with movable arms and legs appeared and flew into the stocking. Then tapping his claw against his cheek, he thought to himself out loud, "Ah yes the pink sparkly dress." Suddenly the mouse was wearing a dress.

"And she'll need a nightgown and a snowsuit and a dress that's not too fancy," he cataloged as he reached into his sack and stuffed the items into the stocking which grew larger as each one was added to it.  Oh yes and pair of ice skates and a special from Santa candy cane. He smiled as he added the last few things to the stocking.  And then standing back he looked it over and declared it perfect.

"Isn't he supposed to say, ho, ho, ho or something," Squig whispered, breaking Santa's concentration.

He twirled around and stared into four pairs of awe struck eyes.  He frowned a little, concentrating on Trixie as if there was something about her that worried him. And then smiling, proclaimed, "Little Trixie Catotsky, I finally found you after all these years. I do believe that you wanted a pale blue sparkling bird with a real feather tail. He turned and dug deep into his sack, routed around a bit and held out exactly what she had asked for.  "You moved on Christmas Eve and I couldn't find you, but here is your kitten heart's desire."

Trixie took the stuffed bird and cradled it against her chest for a minute and then sighing, handed it back to Santa. "There's a homeless kitten who lives near me, I think this would really make her Christmas special.  She has lost so much, please give it to her."

"Now Trixie, Santa knows all about little Candy, and has something special for her already, including the ingredients for a wonderful Christmas dinner.  This bird is yours and I want you to have it.

Squig's head was about to explode as he watched the touching scene in front of him. "What am I," he squawked," the only cat on the planet Santa had nothing for.  If you can find the homeless, why in the hell couldn't you find me?"

Santa spun around and giving Squig a decided stink eye declared. "Little Squiggles Igmieukowski I do believe on Christmas morning you found three little mice who when you placed them together all squeaked and ran in different directions."

"Yes, but Dweezil gave me.." he stopped as everyone in the room turned to stare at Dweezil.

"It wasn't fair, " he proclaimed in righteous indignation.  "You were getting a Santa gift and I wasn't ."

"Because, " Santa said emphatically, "You received your teddy mouse the year before." And staring him straight in the eye, why did you let Squig believe that you gave him those mice instead of me?

Dweezil deflated like a balloon, and said, quietly, "because I wanted him to like me."

For the first time, Squig saw the vulnerability that was underneath all of Dweezil's bombast and bossiness and said as he through his arms around him.  "Like you, Dweeze, I loved you.   I was an only kitten and suddenly I had this wonderful big brother who played with me and watched out for me and even let me snuggle up when I was afraid.  How could you possibly think I didn't like you."

Santa sighed deeply and said, "Well I can't have a kitten thinking I neglected him, "What would you like, Squiggles?  What is your heart's desire?"

Squig paused, and looked at his family and girlfriend and thought about the little lady upstairs and how excited she was going to be this morning when she woke up and saw that teddy mouse, and smiling, said, "Not a thing, Santa.  I already have my heart's desire.  It's all right here around me."

"Well, if you will excuse me, it's getting late and I have places to go and stockings to fill." Santa boomed heartily and then laying a finger aside of his nose, he winked at them all and up the chimney he rose. And they heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight,


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tis the Season Part 3

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
(Now I ask you where on this planet would you find a mouse dumb enough to want to live in that house!)
The stocking was hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that old Santa Cat soon would be there.
Little Annie was nestled all snug in her bed;
While visions of teddy mice danced in her head.
The rest were downstairs watching the fire crackle and snap,
Trying to decide on a tasty night cap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
They all stood as one to see what was the matter.
Away to the window they flew like a flash, 
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to the objects below,
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer (mice.)

"Holy crap," Squig muttered under his breath. "He's real!" and then shrieked, "Put out that fire! we don't want to be the family that french fried Santa!"


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tis the Season Part 2

Yvette looked contentedly at her small family.  They were gathered in the living room, sitting in front of the fire,with the tree finally decorated and sparkling in the corner.  The final decoration of the tree had taken the skills of a United Nations Peace Keeping mission, but in the end it had been accomplished. Squg had seen reason. Ray Lewis had left the team and so it wouldn't be right to give him the place of honor as tree top angel. Dweezil had been bludgeoned into accepting that the tree was for the whole family and whole family got a say in how it was decorated. Squig got to keep one of his Raven's angels as long as he fixed the rest. And so eleven Metropolitan Museum of art angels and one Justin Tucker angel graced the tree. There was only one more thing to do.

From her knitting bag, she took out a pink knit stocking with the name Annie knitted across the top.  "Do you what this is?" she asked as walked over to the mantle and hung the stocking.

"No Grandmom, I don't." Annie replied looking up at her.

"Well," she began, "way up in the North Pole there is a jolly old elf called Santa Cat. He and the rest of the elves spend all year in their workshop making toys and on Christmas Eve he hitches eight tiny deer mice to he sleigh and goes around the world giving out gifts.  He lands on the roof and comes down the chimney and give each kitten the one gift that is his or her's hearts desire.  So," she continued smiling down at Annie, we have hung this stocking so Santa Cat can bring you your heart's desire."

"You mean Santa Cat is going to bring me a pink teddy mouse in a sparkly dress," Annie squeaked hugging herself with delight.

"Oh crap," Squig thought to himself, "where in the hell am I going to find a pink teddy mouse in a sparkly dress when I don't even know what a teddy mouse is."

"Well, we don't know what Santa Cat will bring, so we're just going to have to wait and see. Now I think it's time one little kitten went to bed.  So you go along upstair and I'll be up directly to tuck you in."

"Good night, grandmom.  Good night, Dad. Good night, Father.  Annie said as she went around the room giving each one a good night kiss and left.

She was barely out of the room before Squig, feeling like his head was going to explode, barked, "Why on earth did you have to tell her that load of crap about Santa Cat. Everybody knows there's no Santa Cat.  It's just fairy tale, some demented cat made up to keep kittens on their best behavior."

"Of course there's a Santa Cat, how could you possibly have forgotten." Yvette said patiently waiting for Dweezil to jump in and agree with her. There was something very odd going on here.  Dweezil was looking very shifty and guilty and Squig looked as sad as he did angry.  This was something she was going to get to the bottom of  the minute she could corner Dweezil and demand an answer.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tis the Season - Part 1

"Every ornament has it's correct spot and there is a definite order for decorating a tree," Dweezil commanded standing hands on hips as he surveyed his decorating troops.  His mother, bless her lovely self looked like she was in complete agreement.  Annie looked excited, but malleable.  She could be taught the proper way to decorate. But Squigman as always looked on the verge of mutiny. If left unsupervised for ten seconds he would soon be hurling tinsel and wrapping himself in garlands as he hopped around the tree. He was already winking at Annie and pretending to toss a wad of tinsel over his shoulder.

"Squigman," he barked.  "How did that tinsel make it's way into this house. Year after year we have this discussion.  There will be no tinsel on the tree. And if there were going to be tinsel, it would be silver tinsel not Ravens purple and black tinsel and before you even start, you can forget adding your collection of Ravens defensive lineman miniatures to the nativity scene and Ray Lewis is no longer a Raven and more importantly was not alive at the first Christmas, so his miniature will not be standing with the wise men."

Squig smiled and said, "Oh Dweezil what makes you think I'd do anything that cheesey?  It would be sacrilegious to add my Raven's collection to the nativity scene, I'm hurt to think that you'd even think I'd do a thing like that.

Here," he added walking over to him and handing him the tinsel," I'm willing to do it your way this year."

Dweezil was nervous. Something was up.  This was completely unlike Squigman to give in this easily. But the tree had to be decorated, so with great misgivings he took the tinsel and began barking orders to the troops. It took several hours, but the tree was, as always magnificent.  There was just one thing missing, he had yet to add his collection of angels from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But that was always the last thing and it didn't really matter where they were placed on the tree; so he felt free to leave and retrieve the cookies and hot chocolate they would enjoy while admiring his artistic seasonal creation.

"Squigman, why don't you and Annabelle add my angels to the tree and mother why don't you come with me to get the cookies and hot chocolate?"
They were only gone a few minutes, but when he entered the room he was so shocked that he dropped the tray full of cookies and stared at his tree in horror.  His angels, his magnificent angels had been desecrated. Instead of their lovely heads and flowing gowns, each angel was now a member of the Ravens lineup. Worse yet, the statue of Ray Lewis wasn't standing with the wise men, he  now had a halo, real feather wings,was wearing a dress and was parked on top of the tree.

Dweezil felt sick, he felt faint, With eyes narrowed, ears flat back, he looked over at Squigman who was innocently poking at the fire with an andiron. "Squigman, he hissed. "I am going to kill you."